At Last: A Use For the Times in Print

A Times contributor recommends using newspapers along with compost to kill garden weeds. Does publisher Arthur Sulzberger (who says the Times will eventually no longer issue a print edition) know about this marketing opportunity?

At a media summit in London on Wednesday, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger predicted the Times will eventually go out of print (and become a wholly online publication). But Times Home section contributor Anne Raver has uncovered a possible alternative use for the dead tree version of the paper: Compost.

Under the hopeful headline: "Read First, Then Use to Kill Weeds," Raver made the case for using the Times, with compost, to kill garden weeds.

"I knew I was saving those newspapers for a reason," I said to Rock, as he rolled a cartful from the barn. (We have enough newspapers stacked in there to blanket the turf at the Augusta National Golf Club.)

I started laying down the newspaper, four sheets thick, as Rock went off to dig some compost - rotted leaves from one pile, aged manure from another - and mixed it together in a wheelbarrow.

I used the garden hose to wet the newspapers, to keep them from blowing away. But also because wet newspapers will decay faster, and roots from young plants will be able to grow right through to the soil below.